Korea Box Office: ‘Suzume’ Charges to $15 Million Total on Second Weekend

Japanese animation “Suzume” retained the top spot at the South Korean box office for a second weekend, far outstripping holdover titles and newcomers including “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.”

On its second weekend of release, “Suzume” earned $5.65 million, just a small fraction below its opening weekend score of $5.71 million. Underlining its dominance, the film increased its market share from 60% previously to 62%.

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After 12 days of release, the film has accumulated $15.8 million, according to data from Kobis, the tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council (Kofic).

It places ahead of “The First Slam Dunk,” which topped the Korean chart more than a month ago, in early February. “Slam Dunk” earned $887,000 over the weekend for a running total of $32.8 million since its Jan. 4 debut. That is a record for a Japanese animation in Korea.

Third place over the latest weekend went to new release title, Korean-produced drama film “Soulmate.” It earned $565,000 over the weekend and $887,000 over its opening five days.

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” opened in fourth place with a weekend score of $343,000 and a market share less than 4%. Over its opening five days, it has earned $517,000.

Another Japanese animation – making three in the Korean top five – was “Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Blacksmith Village.” It opened two weeks ago and is declining in a more conventional fashion than either of the other Japanese titles. It recorded $277,000 on the latest weekend, down from $700,000 previously, and has a 19-day cumulative of $4.67 million.

“Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness,” a European-made animation debuted (unusually) on Saturday and earned $150,000 in two days.

Gerard Butler-starring “Plane” debuted in ninth place with a lowly $112,000 over the weekend and a five day total of $185,000.

“Everything, Everywhere All at Once” was buoyed by its multiple Oscar wins and entered the Korean top ten for the first time. In its two previous weekends it had ranked 12th and 11th respectively. On the latest weekend, it increased to $169,000 and eighth place with a 19-day cumulative of $585,000.

The overall theatrical numbers remain depressed in Korea. Despite the strong -performances of the Japanese anime films, the remainder of the box office is not holding up. Nationwide, the weekend business total was $9.05 million. While business is better than early 2022, there has not been a weekend delivering nationwide grosses of more than $10 million since January and performance lags 2019 by roughly half.

In a note last week, Kofic said that market share for Korean movies was at an all-time low in February – less than 20% of total revenues. Box office compared with the same month in 2019 was down by more than 90%, with the local movies fewer in number than normal and titles including “The Point Men” and “Phantom” underperforming.

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